Inserito il - 27 luglio 2009 : 15:57:35
E' disponibile online il rapporto sull'European Research Council (ERC), recentemente presentato al Commissario Europeo per la Scienza e la Ricerca Janez Potocnik. Il rapporto è stato prodotto da un pannello indipendente di esperti, guidati dal Prof. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, ed è mirato a valutare le strutture ed i meccanismi dell'ERC.
In generale il pannello è stato piuttosto entusiasta dell'ERC, anche se esprime la preoccupazione che le cose non possano essere mantenute così bene a lungo termine.
Cito solo qualche punto (il grassetto è mio):
Several countries are now using the ERC assessment for their own purposes, including funding.
Already now, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the Belgian Flanders are using the ERC assessment and ranking to give grants to runners up. Those who
have met the quality criteria but could not be financed for lack of funds are funded through national schemes without further need for peer review assessment.
Despite this promising start, the panel is concerned about the long-term sustainability of the scheme under the present operating conditions. At the most fundamental level there is an incompatibility between the current governance philosophy, administrative rules and practices and the stated goals of the ERC.
Four ingredients are critical to success:
-The selection of competent leaders with established track records of excellence in their field who share the vision and are willing to dedicate their careers to the success of the enterprise.
-The enlightened support of the top political leadership.
-A rapid and competent professionalisation of the activities of the institution to establish a level of unquestioned competence, excellence and credibility.
-The belief in adapting rules and regulations to the mission and not the other way around.
Just as it would not occur to anyone to recruit a non lawyer to run legal services, it should not be acceptable today in Europe that nonscientists who have not had the direct experience of conducting successful science enterprises themselves run major European research programmes! This flaw in construction should be urgently remedied.
The panel believes that funding should be awarded on a highly flexible basis as “grants in aid” rather than as implied contracts. In frontier research, the Principal Investigator must be able to change course and adjust the scientific approach as a function of what is learnt during the project and thus a contract mechanism is actually counterproductive as it implies detailed accounting of
the inputs such as time sheets and materials when lump sum grants would provide the necessary flexibility.
Il documento è lunghetto (52 pagine) ma vale la pena dargli una lettura.
PS: per chi non sapesse cos'è l'ERC:
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